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Insurance Sales Techniques: Why First and Last Impressions Matter

By Troy Wilson
Insurance Sales Techniques: Why First and Last Impressions Matter Feature Image
6 minute read

Many valuable insurance sales techniques can be learned from sales guides, agency training, seminars hosted by the experts in our field, and so on. But some very effective sales techniques are being studied in other fields, so it’s good to keep an open mind about what we might be able to learn and apply to our own trade.

For instance, did you know there are three psychology concepts that could help you close more sales and boost your bottom line? Serial-position effect, primacy effect, and recency effect are at work all the time, and they each have a lot to do with why first and last impressions matter so much in sales, as in life.  

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What’s the Last Movie You Saw?

If I ask you about the last movie you saw, you’ll probably be able to remember what it was, even if it’s been months since you saw it. You’d also probably be able to remember if I asked you which was the first movie you saw. But the fourth movie you saw? Or your favorite movie from three years ago? You may be at a loss to remember.

This little trick has to do with a psychology concept called serial-position effect, which involves being able to remember the first of something as well as the most recent one better than those in the middle. And you were probably able to remember the first and the most recent movies you’ve seen, but probably had difficulty remembering all the movies in between.

Within serial-position effect, there are two smaller concepts. Primacy effect is the ability to remember things that happen at the beginning, owing to the importance of the first thing in a series, because it influences what comes next. And recency effect is the ability to remember things that just happened because recent events are often a more accurate representation of “now.”

Most people take it for granted that first and last impressions matter. But few give much thought to how or why that is. However, if we think about first and last impressions regarding serial-position effect, primacy effect, and recency effect, it tells us important things about the sales process.

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What to Know About First Impressions and Sales

Everyone’s heard that first impressions matter in sales. This is why we spend a lot of time early on training on getting in the right sales mindset even before you pick up the phone, as well as nailing down sales script and your introduction. The first 10-30 seconds influence how your sales call with an aged lead is going to go. The same is true when you first meet a client face to face.

In psychology studies, researchers noted that when you are thinking about later information, you are also subconsciously thinking about the other information that has come before that. In this way, the first impression colors the prospect’s perception of later parts of your sales call.

Another point to consider: though they may not know why, prospects generally make more of a point to be focused at the beginning of a sales interaction. You may have noticed that if you drone on too long without engaging them in the process, they can zone out. First information, such as who you are and why you’re calling takes primacy over other details that come later.  

What to Know About Last Impressions and Sales

However, last impressions are also important in sales. This is why it matters how you wrap up a sales call or meeting, even if you’re not ready to close on the deal. Prospects are trying to assess where they stand at the end of the meeting. Do they feel confident in your service? Do they have an idea of what their insurance options are and how much it will cost? Do the know what the next steps are going to be?

You’ll want to work on making sure your sales interactions leave your prospect with at least some of these questions answered. To be sure, you may need a few contacts to nail down the best product options for a particular client. But you want them to feel like something was gained by the meeting that just ended.

Letting the meeting end on a high note without bringing down the energy can also leave your prospect wanting more. It can even mean they chase you for a purchase, instead of you chasing them for the sale.

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What Other Ways Serial-Position Effect Could Help Your Sales

When it comes to sales, first and last impressions matter and this is at least partially explained by the serial-position effect. But the same psychological concepts can also help you in other aspects of your insurance sales business.

Consider pricing. Once you have gathered enough information through the consultative sales process and you are ready to make recommendations, you may want to consider serial-position effect before you list off the options. You might want to put the most expensive option first. This will serve as an anchor as they consider the other options. Another option is to put the most expensive one last, and another suitable option first. They may choose the first option because it’s just slightly less expensive than the last one and it came first, even if there are other cheaper options in between.

Or consider the product. You may want to offer what you think will be the best choice for your prospect first. In many sales studies, buyers preferred the first choice consistently over other options. When it comes to TV ads, consumers remember the last commercial in a set better than the others.

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Final Thoughts

There’s great information to be learned from sales experts on how to improve your insurance business. But remember to stay curious. Learning about psychology concepts like serial-position effect, primacy effect, and recency effect could also help you land more sales. First and last impressions matter, but knowing more about why they matter could be what sets your business apart from the crowd.

Get started today with a fresh supply of high-quality aged leads from The Aged Lead Store. You’ll find thousands of sortable aged leads, ready to boost your sales, whether your business is auto, life, health, Medicare supplement or homeowners insurance, annuities, auto warranty coverage, or mortgage refinance.

About Troy Wilson

Troy is the CEO and founder of Aged Lead Store. He has been in the lead generation industry for over two decades. His blog posts focus on how to refine your sales process and get the most out of your insurance leads, mortgage leads, and solar leads.

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